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The Cozy Spot



8 posts categorized "sexual harassment"

May 04, 2008

Online & Tacky

Sexual revenge is often tacky, or has become more tacky since the advent of web sites that focus on ‘my bitch ex-girlfriend/boyfriend,’ web sites. I can understand the anger. Some relationships don’t wind up at the end of the rainbow with a pot of gold, and it can be more like a bucket of shit, but I can’t say that I’m really thrilled about having a one of my posts highlighted on one of these sites. Who runs these sorts of sites anyway? These sites often have no contact address (so you can't write a letter of complaint), and they often create some stupid writer name that they attribute to bloggers. My 'name' is SSAF33. One quick click on the logo, and I am redirected to a tacky porn site. So I figure, I'll just send an email to them to see how I go, about removing their link to my post.

Lesson of the day: Never make any personal x-rated films or pictures with your lover.

Has the Internet derailed the concept of trust in relationships? Moments like these often swing me toward that attitude. Head back a few decades ago, and the most people had to worry about (or the most women had to worry about) was unplanned pregnancies and being labeled ‘sluts’. In the modern day, the era of voyeur vision, they have an additional thing to worry about, such as having their orgasm published (without permission) for all to see, or have their sexual moment viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Now that may not be the ideal concept of fame for the giver. The idea of privacy is just that, an idea.

May 02, 2008

When Sexual Fantasy Becomes Public II

What happens when everything private is considered public, including sexual fantasies? People feel they are within their rights to expose the fantasies and earn money for them. The News of the World 'investigation' into Formula One boss Max Moseley's personal life sold a load of newspapers and like all headlines, was replaced by different headlines but the pages are turning.

The scandal isn't about to go away with fresh claims (by Radovan Novak) that McLaren CEO, Ron Dennis may be behind Moseley's exposure, basing his claim on fines issued by Moseley. McLaren was given a hefty fine recently. It's an incredible accusation to make considering that any one aware of the fine could have taken advantage of the fine in order for Dennis to be easily targeted.

It just gets juicier doesn't it?

Sexual revenge, or the type of comeuppance related to sexual innuendo, alters the balance. Do newspapers randomly choose targets and  decide, after a midday meeting, who they are going to investigate? Or are they directed toward the target by some external informant or agent? I'd lean more toward the latter.

The C Files

I do feel for celebrity parents, especially those who appear to be doing a normal job with their kids (read: who don’t use their kids for extra pocket money for their shopping sprees). The recent Lowe/nanny fiasco is gaining momentum with a second nanny seeking a cash bonus.

Average or non-celebrity parents tend to get away with just about everything, from wearing track pants and disheveled morning hair to pick up the morning paper, to farting without so much as a front page. A celebrity parent, on the other, is open to all kinds of invasions.

If a person is a celebrity, chances are that that celebrity has domestic staff. This presents many dilemmas (or as I’d term them, ‘pains in the ass’).

1. Is your sex life ever private? If you have a maid or housekeeper, chances are that she (or he) will know all about your sex toy stash and closely following this, there is a chance that staff member will sell that information for some extra pocket money.

2. Don’t walk around nude. If you do walk around in the raw, you will have - like Mrs Lowe - to deal with sexual harassment. People see nudity in front of them and they can’t differentiate between private non-sexual leisure time (if you can’t be nude in your own home, then where can you be nude? The Antarctic?) and sexual intimacy. Since when is nudism a form of harassment?

3. You may have an incompetent staff member. My advice (especially to Naomi Campbell) is to politely terminate their services if you feel the vitriol rise when they can’t locate your clothes. Don’t get angry. Don’t whack them with a cell phone, just be nice and say, ‘your services are no longer required.’ How difficult is that? If you're Russell Crowe and you don't want your child to be embarrassed, just go to a phone booth and make a call. Don't use a cell phone as a missile just due an incompetent dipshit at the front desk.Non celebrities can get away with it (no front pages), but for people like Russ, it becomes World News.

4. You think you can discipline your child in public? Think again. You’re child may be in the throes of the wildest tantrum to date, and may be breaking the sound barrier with their febrile screams. The moment you grab that child’s arm and direct them away from ground zero, and someone snaps you, you immediately become a child abuser.

5. This one goes out to Alec Baldwin. I could see how parents can be pissed off with undesired child behavior. It happens. I’m a parent, and I’ve had occasions where my son has jangled my chain. The difference between me and Alec is like the difference between Mars and Pluto (which is no longer a planet). I didn’t have a vindictive ex partner who somehow had a voice-mail message distributed to the media. Anyone who didn’t see that has to be blind. Every parent gets short with their kids. It’s not abuse, it’s basic parental frustration and parental discipline. It’s about establishing limits. Okay, he didn’t have to call his daughter a pig, but anger has a way of unleashing many things. Alec’s voice message was broadcast around the world.

6. If you’re a celebrity parent, don’t drink and drive for one and one reason only: Mel Gibson. But do you think that people learn? Of course not, look at Richie Sambora. He didn’t mouth off, but come on at least Mel didn’t have his kid in the car.

Lastly, celebrity parents should adopt Fox Mulder’s mantra:

Trust no one.

April 16, 2008

Harassment of the Sexual Kind

The world of sexual harassment is one that dances around ethics, human conduct and personal integrity. The allegation can be something that is true or false, like most allegations, and proof is often required to make the allegation adhere. The title of this post isn't the most creative, but the term sexual harassment can be a blurry term. The 'sexual' part of the term can refer to sexual advances, a playful slap on the butt, or sexist comments; sexual can refer to gender discrimination or sexual advances.

The celebrity realm has been hit by yet another sexual harassment claim this week that involves Rob and Sheryl Lowe
. The current claims made by a former nanny make the Lowe sex tape look like a tame sex documentary. How will the celebrity couple fare with these claims? It's anyone's guess, but the usual path - the out of court settlement - will probably be the final solution. And out of court settlements don't really indicate guilt or innocence. Legal trials are financially draining and exhausting. If a person is a public figure, then the media create sensationalism and it becomes a 'damned if you do/damned if you don't,' situation.

Continue reading "Harassment of the Sexual Kind" »

March 29, 2008

$11 Million Dollar Woman

Harassment cases have intrigued me lately, simply because I’ve never been exposed to any harassment, indirect, subtle or otherwise, until a certain time at work. I’ve always thought that a high salary can offset the harassment, then again it is the principle: all harassment is wrong. I wasn’t on a high salary, or anything remotely close to what the woman was in the article referenced below, but I did have moments where I assumed that I’d be better able to handle it all if I were on a higher salary - which is a stupid thought, really.

This case in the Sydney Morning Herald details a $11 million dollar lawsuit that was dropped after mediation (and an out of court settlement?) this week. When I read the salary of this person I almost swooned, and momentarily thought “well that isn’t too bad a salary,” then again, there is the other side of harassment, and if it is ongoing, it literally drains a person’s energy; it can also make you wonder or experience moments where you think, “what is the point of everything?” If a person doesn’t have support, it can turn a milder depression into a severe form.

Five years of toxicity in a company is a long time. It can make the time feel like it is doubled.

Before I entered the big wide world of corporations, I thought sexual harassment to be ‘sexual’, but sexual harassment includes harassment based on gender, as well as comments made in your presence - in relation to your gender - that you find offensive.

This case and similar others occur in our contemporary times, and it is quite shocking to think that these types of boys clubs still exist - but they do exist.

September 08, 2007

Repulsion

A true master of horror need not splatter a film with blood and gore to invoke terror, dread, discomfort and anguish. Then again, a true master, doesn't need to repeatedly focus on one genre; horror is borne of fear, and an intimate knowledge of human nature is sufficient. One deep journey into the human psyche is enough to make one shift in one’s seat, and this is the skill that many nouveau film directors lack as they go for the easy kill, or overkill, injecting blood, gore, and exaggerated lunatics into their films: Halloween, Friday the 13th, and similar films enter my mind, when I think of overkill, as are newer films like Hostel and SAW; films lacking psychological nuances that are whittled down to gore-fests, without any rhyme or reason, and there’s always a reason behind such terror or psychoses, that is what makes it all the more horrific in the first place.

RepulsionPeople may not see Roman Polanski as being a pure horror film director (in the way that Wes Craven, or John Carpenter are, for example) or one focused on a particular genre, and he isn't, primarily because the storylines of his films aren’t typical Hollywood-schlock horror or gravitate over the single genre, but his films do contain elements that are capable of making a viewer squirm because they challenge one’s perspective of life. In some films, it can feel like he is holding up a mirror, a mirror that offers a glimpse into the human psyche; he tips the world, as we know it, upside down. The world in my example may be thought of as a bag containing marbles. When that bag is tipped over, so many marbles race out, that we don’t have time to gather them up, we find ourselves tripping over each glittering orb, dazzled and horrified by our vulnerability to the physical world, as well as the forces that impact on us, forces that we may (or may not) control. Such control may depend on our state of mind at a particular time or moment, and this control or ability may also be a function of our overall experience of life.

Continue reading "Repulsion" »

July 19, 2007

The Work Shag

The thought of ‘Only in America,’ did enter my mind as I read an article about office romances, and it’s a thought I would have had a year ago, but there’s always a real example that hits you in the head like a cricket ball for you to seriously consider the logic behind the concept of drawing up legal documents called ‘consensual relationship agreements.’ Apparently lawyers organize thousands of these contracts each year in the United States and one of the reasons is the fallout that can occur, fallout that crosses the lines of sexual harassment, or what could be sexual harassment after an office relationship ends or if one of the two parties sits on a higher rung in the ladder, and can exert all sorts of emotional blackmail.

In one case I’d read about, a woman was awarded US $250,000.00 for a sexual harassment and discrimination claim. She was out of a job three years after ending an affair with a senior executive, all because her ex caught wind of her starting a new relationship. Ergo, harassment and threats ensued. She didn’t have a ‘future’ in the company, according to him, and she could reverse this precarious situation by ending her new relationship and returning to him. Sweet stuff, eh? What makes this nightmarish, or terrifying (on an equal level of having a stalker, I think) is that a person spends the bulk of their day or a high number of hours of their day, in the workplace. Few people have the luxury of working from home on a full time level, and due to the high amount of hours, possibilities do eventuate, namely attraction or discovering a common ground with a colleague and for this to evolve into a relationship.

The purpose of the consensual relationship agreement is two fold. It protects an employee; in cases where the relationship ends thereby lessening the risk of harassment (the employee can take legal action) and it also lessens the likelihood of an employer or company being sued. Thus, while it offers some protection (from harassment or threats by ‘injured’ parties or ex lovers), it can also put one’s feet in one shoe in the sense of limiting protection; it’s limited to the workplace. Would a contract like this protect someone away from the workplace? If a person was stalked or harassed outside of the workplace (by their ex work colleague/lover), and didn’t collect enough proof, then what?

Continue reading "The Work Shag" »

June 16, 2007

Keep Those Hands to Yourself...

I was sitting in the waiting room of my local medical center, and decided to pick up a woman’s magazine. It was Women’s Weekly or Marie Claire, either one, and the article transplanted me back into my really young years, back to being a kid in fact. I started reading about HollaBackNYC, a site that is dedicated to exposing those who expose (or harass) themselves to women (or men) without consent, and explored the familiar demons.

There’s exhibitionism and there’s Exhibitionism of the Debased Kind; should be a film title. It’s something I term the Lite version of rape; there aren’t any physical signs of attack, but when you’re harassed, or placed in an uncomfortable situation where you feel your individual freedom or power is removed, then it’s a form of rape. In my mind, that’s how I see it, and such incidents can strip away a layer of self-confidence overnight. As recently as 2005, Japan introduced female only trains during morning peak travel times, because women complained of being groped and/or harassed.

Continue reading "Keep Those Hands to Yourself..." »

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© Anastasia Mavromatis 2005 - 2008